Darlene Somers, CMP
We’ve all seen those quintessential food photos on social media — the perfect chocolate sundae backlit by a cityscape at night or beach sunset, or a mouth-watering, step-by-step photo series for a lemon garlic buttered salmon recipe. The widespread popularity of sharing food photos on social media isn’t going anywhere. So why not incorporate some of those photo-ready moments into your events?
That’s the argument Darlene Somers, senior meetings manager at Association Management Center, made during the “Convene Presents: Hottest Food & Beverage Trends for 2018” session at this year’s Convening Leaders.
People will inevitably take photos of your event, Somers said, so presentation matters. She suggested “food walls” as a presentation trend — from hydroponic walls to donut walls. Making use of vertical space isn’t just space efficient, but also helps create good photo opportunities.
“It creates a moment for the attendee that makes them think, ‘Holy cow.’” Somers said. “Choose Instagrammable moments. It’s going to get out there, so it might as well be in a good way.”
How to create eye-catching moments? Plan for them, suggests Somers. “Work with the facility staff to focus on at least one or two areas during each F&B function that are laid out with social media in mind,” she said.”Good lighting, a focus on color and presentation and a distraction-free background works well. Attendees who are heavy social-media users will gravitate to these areas if you set it up for them.”